Kent County Council’s ICT group recognises that efficiency in the deployment and use of ICT is not about a narrow approach to reducing costs, it must also be about deriving increased value throughout the business, brought about by investment in the application of technology. The major project for the council over the coming year is the refresh of the network provision across public services in Kent. With a value in excess of £50 million, the project is being progressed in partnership with over 10 other agencies and will support in excess of 30,000 staff located across 280 corporate locations, 100 libraries and 600 schools in Kent.

During the coming year Kent County Council’s IT group will continue to build on what it has achieved during the past 12 months. This included the delivery of major upgrades in network capacity to improve service access and management and the successful implementation of initiatives such as the self-assessment website, telehealth, e-enabled curriculum support and tablet PC technology being made available in the classroom.

Furthermore, within Kent County Council, a number of initiatives were successfully piloted during the past year. These included web jamming, blogs, videoconferencing, green screening, push email to PDAs and helpdesk self service. All these initiatives are to be taken forward to full implementation during 2007/08.

The ICT group is constantly considering their service users’ needs and devising ways to improve their experience. Recently this has resulted in a new means for mobile Kent County Council staff to keep in touch and work remotely. This innovative development, called Access to Kent, uses both wired and wireless technology.

Kent County Council believes that working with service users and, where appropriate, partners is very important to ensure that any development is business, not technology, orientated. Enterprise architecture, a method adopted from the private sector, dictates the development of ICT strategy through assessment of impact on direct service outcomes. This methodology ensures value for money and maximum return on investment.